UPDATE: Husband arrested for wife's death in New Year's morning homicide

Published: Jan. 3, 2018 at 7:18 AM AKST
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A Valley man has been charged with his wife's murder, after investigators determined that her death was a homicide.

In addition to the ongoing criminal investigation, AST says it is conducting a comprehensive review of its initial response to the residence, hours before the woman's death.

Amy Smith, 37, was found to be non-responsive on New Year's Day. Officers with the Alaska State Troopers and medical personnel were present at the Big Lake home and attempted to perform CPR on her. She was later pronounced dead.

Troopers updated the case the following day, calling it a homicide and saying they had arrested her husband, 38-year-old Anthony Smith, also of Wasilla, on first-degree murder charges.

A criminal complaint filed in court says Troopers had already responded to the home once that night.

A responding Trooper said that at about 2:30 a.m., Amy Smith had called 9-1-1 reporting she had locked herself in the bathroom because Anthony was "being aggressive," and that she was afraid because he was suffering from mental problems.

When Troopers responded to that call she said he had been "chest-bumping" her, and that in the past, this type of behavior had turned violent. She told the Trooper, during that exchange, that she didn't want Anthony to be arrested; instead, she just wanted him to "chill out."

Troopers were called again to the home at about 4:54 a.m. by Anthony Smith, saying he was performing CPR on his wife – that she wasn't breathing, her lips were blue and that she needed an ambulance.

He told dispatchers that he knew how to do CPR, because he is an Army Medic. He then said that his wife fell down the stairs.

Troopers responded by 5 a.m., and Anthony Smith told them he heard his wife hit the wall at the bottom of the stairs. He alleged that when he came out, she was blue and that he called 9-1-1 immediately.

Medics at the scene pronounced Amy Smith dead at 5:33 a.m.

The responding Trooper says when he arrived, there was a vehicle out front packed full of personal belongings. Additionally, the Trooper reported learning that Amy Smith had packed the vehicle in anticipation of leaving her husband the next day.

He also found that Troopers had responded to the home twice in December, because family members were concerned about Amy's welfare due to her husband's aggressive behavior.

Amy Smith's father testified at Anthony Smith's arraignment Wednesday afternoon, saying he's exhibited concerning behavior in the past, including when the two were separated and Amy had her own apartment.

Amy's mother later told Troopers that the two had a "volatile" marriage and that Anthony wasn't allowed at her home.

The Trooper who conducted the warrant search of the home found that a mirror – at the bottom of the stairs of where she had allegedly fallen down – was not damaged. He found black scuff marks on the hallway wall, between a bedroom and utility room, that appeared to have been made by the tennis shoes Amy was wearing at the time of her death.

The Trooper also found a cloth headband near where she had been lying, which was partially ripped. The Trooper wrote that he saw a fresh bruise on the side of Amy's face, a mark on her neck that looked like she had been choked and some fibers under her finger nails.

The State Medical Examiner found what appeared to be fingernail marks near the neck injury. The SME also reported finding two hemorrhages on her head; however, they did not find any skull fractures.

Ultimately, the SME Office found the preliminary cause, and manner, of Amy Smith's death to be homicide by strangulation.

Anthony Smith is being held at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility. His bail was set Wednesday at $250,000.